It’s May, and summer is just around the corner. Warmer weather brings with it more opportunities to get outdoors with friends and family. Here are some other ways we can help boost our health for the summer.
Make the most of this time to get and stay healthy. Stay active in safe ways that make you feel good:1
• Beat the heat! If you exercise outside, be active in the early morning. Watch the sun come up while moving in place with exercises like stretches, jumping jacks, or skipping rope.
• Sidewalks sizzling? Get moving indoors! Move your body in the privacy of your home with virtual fitness classes.
• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. Drink more water as the temperatures rise.
• Fuel up. Help yourself stay active by getting lots of nutrients. Mix up your meals, using these healthy foods:
– Whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds
– Fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese
– Seafood, poultry, and eggs
• Grow your own food! Start a small garden in your yard or use a plot in a community garden. It is rewarding to eat fruits and vegetables you planted yourself. Gardening can also be a great way to exercise and move your body.
Staying safe on the playground
A warm, sunny day is the perfect opportunity to get your children out of the house and onto a playground. Play areas are a great place for kids to learn social skills, like playing with others, as well as use up some of that never-ending energy. Here are some tips on how to keep your child safe on the playground:2
• Check for hazards, such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. Report any hazards to the school or appropriate local office.
• Dress appropriately for the playground. Remove necklaces, purses, scarves, or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment and pose a safety hazard. Even helmets can be dangerous on a playground, so save those for bikes.
• Avoid playgrounds with non‒impact-absorbing surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt, or gravel. Good alternatives are sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch, and shredded rubber.
• Most importantly, keep an eye on your child at all times. Supervising your child is the easiest way to recognize potential safety issues and quickly respond if something happens.
More than a sugar rush
Type 1, Type 2, gestational, and prediabetes are all forms of diabetes that affect how the body processes blood sugar. These conditions can be dangerous if not managed properly. Check the list below to see if you are experiencing any warning signs of diabetes:3
• Feeling hungry and/or thirsty all the time
• Going to the bathroom a lot
• Blurred vision• Feeling very tired
• Unexplained weight loss/gain
• Cuts that heal slowly
• Hands/feet feel numb or tingly
• Having very dry skin
Remember, you can still live a full and active life with diabetes.
AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia (DC) offers virtual classes to help enrollees learn how to prevent hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, as well as ways to manage these conditions over time. Through weekly online classes, enrollees will learn from experts in the field during interactive sessions. Visit the AmeriHealth Caritas DC Diabetes Care Center webpage to learn more about these classes. For more information on diabetes, please visit www.diabetes.org.
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These articles are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to take the place of your primary care provider (PCP). If you have questions or are on a special diet prescribed by a provider, talk with your PCP before making any changes. Check with your PCP before starting any exercise program. If you think you need to see your PCP because of something you have read in this information, please contact your PCP. Never stop or wait to get medical attention because of something you have read in this information.
1. “Keep Active and Eat Healthy to Improve Well-being and Feel Great”” National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/healthy-habits-summer.
2. “Playground Safety Tips,” Safe Kids Worldwide, https://www.safekids.org/tip/playground-safety-tips.
3. “Diabetes Symptoms,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/symptoms.html.
All images are used under license for illustrative purposes only. Any individual depicted is a model